29 December 2013

Boxing Day Birding

Week 52, 26 December 2013 - Al Abraq

You need to leave home early to get to Al Abraq just after sunrise....as you know I have a penchant for sunsets and sunrises, so this morning was no exception as this fiery ball seemingly rose out of the desert

Desert sunrise
Don't let the clear blue skies fool you, the ambient temperature was not friendly

Without the wind chill factor!
I'm sure there is not much heating inside some of these winter campers tents, brrrrr.....
Winter Desert Camp
Again at Al Abraq there wasn't much new, but it does seem that we have had another poor winter for Thrush species, just one skittish Song Thrush was seen.

A female European Stonechat was a species that was not present on the previous visit.

Female European Stonechat (Saxicola rubicola)

A female Eurasian Sparrowhawk cruised along the line of acacia trees trying to force some unsuspecting bird to fly out on cold wing muscles

Female Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus)
Meadow Pipits were still present, no sign of Buff-bellied this year

Meadow Pipit (Anthus pratensis)
Once it had warmed up a little, I walked the farm a few times finding Asian Desert Warbler

Asian Desert Warbler (Sylvia nana)

and both Eastern Black Redstart

Male Eastern Black Redstart (Phoenicurus o. phoenicuroides)

and Western Black Redstart in the same area 

Male Western Black Redstart (Phoenicurus ochruros)
who were both being intimidated by a diminutive but aggressive European Robin

European Robin (Erithacus rubecula)
You have a good Christmas Dad?

Western Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis)

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